City travelers, here’s our latest interview with world’s leading travel bloggers, sharing their favorite city destination and travel experiences with us.
Today, meet Max Hartshorne, editor of hugely successful travel blog GoNomad. Since 2000 Max has published more than 6,000 travel stories and some really stunning photography. Four years later, in 2004 he started his second blog project, Readuponit – both top notch and highly recommended.
Max, your best city trip so far?
I can’t say that any trip is the best because I really do enjoy each one. I was just in San Luis Obispo CA, which is a great wine area…and did a tour of San Francisco’s Chinatown which was a lot of fun. The best trip is my next one, such as an upcoming press trip to New Orleans… there is no way to say which one is best, honestly.
Your top tip for city travelers?
I always like taking a local tour… you’ll be amazed like I was in Chinatown how many things you miss, and how the local guides can bring so many interesting facts and history to the experience. A walking tour of any city or a drive around in a tour bus really does give you much more than just trying to figure out what’s fun. Guides have an insider knowledge and always share helpful tips and little details that I find fascinating. Look for niche tours like the Chinatown tour, or foodie tours, or history walks, it makes any city much more interesting.
As a professional travel blogger, what makes a city worth visiting?
It has to have a bustling city center, some place that feels like the heart. The most depressing places are cities like Houston and Dallas that have no center, no city square, no meeting point. Endless rows of office buildings and highways are not conducive to enjoying a city. You need walking, or biking, public transport and a ‘there there.’ In Mexico City, for example, there is the famous Zocalo, where everything happens.
Your five ingredients for the perfect city trip?
A local guide, a restaurant that serves local produce, wine and specialties, activities that broaden the mind like good museums and bookstores, some physical activity like biking, or kayaking, and the company of either interesting fellow journalists or my partner Mary, who doesn’t get to go along on many trips due to her work.
Which apps and gadgets are essential companions for a modern city traveler?
For gadgets of course an Apple iPhone 5s, Nuvi portable battery pack to recharge phone, a power strip for recharging in hotel rooms, an Olympus 4/3 camera with removable lenses, and a good old composition book with a glue stick that I put cards, menus, notes and write my story notes in.
Would you describe yourself as a responsible traveler? Why?
I try to make sure that I am doing things that aren’t harmful or wasteful to the environment and I also promote sustainable and responsible travel on the pages of GoNOMAD travel. I would not want to spend time on snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles or gas hogging speedboats, prefer to take bikes, kayaks and walk.
Your key insight from traveling the world?
That answer can be found in places I’ve been, like Iran in 2008. People are just the same the world over, and in nearly every case, it’s governments that we have to fear, not the people who live in the country. In Iran everyone I met was so friendly and I am sure that in other nations that we are politically fighting with, the people themselves would welcome a visitor.
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